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Can I Cross the US/Canadian Border Without a COVID Vaccination?

By Casey March 7, 2022 (Updated March 7, 2022) 3 min. read

The best way to ensure you can cross the United States/Canada border during COVID would be to make sure you are fully vaccinated to avoid any trouble or delays. At the start of 2022, DHS stated that all non-U.S. individuals seeking to enter the United States through land ports of entry and ferry terminals at the U.S.-Canada borders must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination. However, if you are not vaccinated or getting fully vaccinated is not an option for you, there is a chance you may still be eligible to cross the border or apply for a visa, but there are limited exemptions and some additional rules you will need to follow.

Can I Still Apply for a US Visa If I Am Not Fully Vaccinated?

A universal waiver of the COVID-19 immunization may apply in specific circumstances, which means applicants in the following scenarios are not needed to show they had the COVID-19 vaccine(s):

If an applicant declines the COVID-19 immunization, the examining physician will write that the vaccine criteria are not met and that the applicant denies vaccination. Such candidates are inadmissible to the United States and hence ineligible for a green card/immigrant visa.

In view of this vaccination requirement, green card and immigrant visa applicants should plan ahead of time to complete the whole immunization series in order to minimize delays. Finally, applicants who qualify for one of the blanket waivers should have their paperwork ready ahead of time in order to speed up the procedure. It is unknown how long the COVID-19 vaccine(s) will be necessary, but for the time being, early preparedness is critical.

Can I Still Apply for a Canadian Visa If I Am Not Fully Vaccinated?

Since January 15, 2022, all travelers to Canada whether immigrating or visiting must be fully vaccinated to enter, unless exempt. Those who are exempt only include a small list of people:

Keep in mind, it is required that medical exemption requests must be supported with documentation from a specialist physician.

Foreign nationals who are not completely vaccinated may also be allowed to enter Canada if they get a national interest exemption from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, or the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. The national interest exception is only meant to be utilized in extraordinary circumstances. As such, it is not intended to be a workaround in circumstances when a more appropriate exemption cannot be obtained.

Do You Need Help Making Sure You Have the Right Documents and Proof of Vaccination Before Crossing the Border?

If so, Contact VisaPlace today. All our cases are handled by competent and experienced immigration professionals who are affiliated with VisaPlace. These professionals consist of lawyers, licensed paralegals, and consultants who work for VisaPlace Legal an award-winning immigration firm that adheres to the highest standards of client service.

Ready for the next step? Book your 1 on 1 consultation now or call us at 1-888-317-5770.

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Fill out the FREE Immigration Assessment form and get a response within 24 hours to see if you’re eligible.

The assessment form should take approximately 5-7 minutes to complete. We will get back to you within one business day to let you know if we are able to help.

Peter Gianakas Avatar

Peter Gianakas

I had a great experience with Andrew Diamond from The Visa Place. Andrew was very knowledgable and helped us every step of the way. When we had a discrepancy with my spouse’s Visa Andrew helped us navigate the system in the USA. He even offered to speak directly to the customs and border control officer to help us iron out the situation. Overall the experience was very good and smooth. I highly recommend Andrew and his services at The Visa Place.

Vanessa Gomes Avatar

Vanessa Gomes

I spoke with Lilly last week and she’s incredible. Very informative and you can tell she definably cares about her job. She wasn’t pushy at all and she’s there to help you figure out if this service is right for you. I’d recommend contacting VisaPlace if you’re thinkin of traveling internationally and you have questions about the different types of permits.

TK B Avatar


Great firm. They helped me with my visa at a reasonable cost. They were very responsive and most importantly compassionate about my situation. I have no hesitation to recommend them to others

Nirmal Singh Avatar

Nirmal Singh

Really the best immigration law firm. I got visa with their help, they helped me at every step. They answered every single question. I ‘d recommend 10/10

Krista Sparkes Avatar

Krista Sparkes

Extremely satisfied with the professionalism, expertise, efficiency, speed and thoroughness at which my file was managed. Fadi & Danielle are true class acts! Their response times were fantastic (especially during a high-stress period), their quality of work was phenomenal, and their willingness to go the extra mile (without hidden costs, no less!) to prepare me for my work permit interview was unmatched. I strongly recommend VisaPlace to anyone seeking legal counsel as it relates to cross-border services. Highest Regards, Krista

ksaumure Avatar


Very good personal experience with this law firm. I am a Canadian and had overstayed a visa in the US and received a bar. Attorneys and staff were extremely knowledgeable. I was given accurate information with no false hopes. My case was completed and approved 3 months faster than expected. Overall, very satisfied with this firm and would highly recommend them. When you are in need of immigration assistance, it can be grave and critical to get help from someone who can be trusted – this firm is certainly trustworthy and will do whatever they can to get your case approved.

EDIT: Another great experience 5 years later with waiver renewal/lifting of my bar from the US. Very reasonable fees for the challenge of dealing with US immigration during Covid and new immigration laws. Another successful outcome with only a minor snag (not related to lawfirm). My bar was lifted and I am now free to travel to the US at will. Very satisfied.

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Allan Karumazondo

Thank You VisaPlace for your assistance in my study permit and a special mention To Alejandra,Nadia,Victoria and Khushboo . You are professional and make the process so easy and you provided me with answers to my questions through out the process. Thank you and I recommend you try this guys they are a team of professionals

VisaPlace is the perfect place to start your path to immigration.